Bank Raises $8 Billion in IPO

China Construction Bank sold $8 billion worth of stock in the world's biggest initial public offering in four years. The stock sold was 12 percent of the third-largest Chinese bank's shares.

The demand reflected investor confidence in China's three largest state-owned banks, which received a $60 billion government bailout to prepare them for IPOs. Bank of America and Singapore's Temasek Holdings took stakes in Construction Bank.


Economists Lower 2006 Forecast

German economists predicted that Europe's biggest economy would expand by only 1.2 percent next year. Six economic institutes gave a marginally better outlook for this year, raising their growth forecast to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent. Next year's prediction was down from the 1.5 percent they forecast in April.


Rosneft Buys Big Stake in Oil Field

The state-owned Rosneft oil company said it was acquiring a 25.94 percent stake in the Verkhnechonskneftegaz company, which holds the license to develop the giant Verkhnechonsk oil field near Irkutsk in Siberia. The company did not say what it would pay to Vladimir Potanin's Interros conglomerate, which holds the shares. BP's Russian joint venture holds nearly 62 percent of the oil field.

OAO Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas producer, said first-quarter earnings rose 34 percent, to $3.23 billion. Revenue at the Moscow company rose 33 percent, to $11.85 billion.

Compiled from news service reports.